Helping you to stay safe
with PlayStation

Our commitment to the safety and privacy of all our players – online, in-game and throughout the world of PlayStation.

 
 
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A safer place to play

Whether playing online on PlayStation 4, interacting with others via PlayStation Network, sharing and viewing content, or joining any of our social communities, we want to create a safe, inclusive place for all the players.

 
 

Our online code of conduct

PlayStation is for everyone. So to help make PlayStation Network and any shared gaming spaces  safe, respectful and, just as importantly, fun for all players – irrespective of age, ability, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or cultural beliefs – we ask that everyone abides by a simple set of guidelines when using their PlayStation Network account to access any PlayStation services. 

 
 

How we’ll help protect you

PlayStation moderators

Our team of moderators work 24/7 so that all PlayStation communities and online spaces are as safe as possible. And if anything inappropriate is flagged to us, they can remove it and take action against the offender, around the clock. 

 

Banning or suspending accounts

If our moderators spot any behaviour or content that goes against our code of conduct, they may warn the user and explain why it’s not appropriate. For more serious issues, they can ban or suspend the offending PSN account, meaning that person can’t access any online services or continue to break the rules.

 
 

Latest safety news

Get an in-depth view of what’s going on in the world of online safety and go behind the scenes with PlayStation’s safety and moderation teams.

 
 

How you can protect yourself & your family

Report inappropriate behaviour

If you spot material that you find offensive or that you believe to be inappropriate on any PlayStation platform or service, you can report it to us and we’ll take it from there. Once we’ve dealt with your report, we’ll let you know the outcome. 

Set up family accounts

Parents and other adult family members can control what children play, watch or do online by setting up an individual family member account for each child – and control it all from a web app. This includes setting spending limits for digital purchases, restricting how long they can play for each day, preventing them from playing games that aren’t age-appropriate, and managing access to the PS4 internet browser. 

 
 

Age ratings

Any game available on PlayStation consoles – both as a disc or a digital download – has an official age rating that indicates the minimum age it’s suitable for.

Age ratings are based on a game’s content and the themes that it tackles, not on how difficult it is to play. So, for example, games rated 16 or 18 will tackle mature themes and may contain content that could be disturbing to a younger audience.

Additionally, some titles may display visual indicators to show the sort of content that appears in the game that has made the specific rating necessary:

Violence

Bad language

Fear

Sex

Drugs

Discrimination

Gambling

Online play

 
 

Keeping your account secure

Your account provides access to use the PlayStation Network and to edit information associated with your account. As with any online service that contains any sort of personal information, it’s important to keep your log-in details secret, so only you can sign in.

Two-step verification

Add an extra layer of security to your account by receiving a unique verification code to your phone every time you sign in to PlayStation Network or any other Sony-linked accounts – meaning only you can access your details.

PlayStation Store wallet limits

If you’ve set up family accounts on your PS4, as the family manager and owner of the PSN wallet, you can place a limit on how much can be spent each month on PlayStation Store by any child accounts connected to your family account.

 
 

Online safety tips

As well as using all of the controls that are in place to help stay safe online, it’s a good idea to bear a few things in mind when using PSN – whether you’re a gamer yourself, or just want to ensure the players in your family have fun.

For parents:

  • Talk to your children. Make sure they understand how to behave online, how to take care in an online space, and what to do if they feel that someone is acting inappropriately.
  • Set up parental controls. They’re easy to configure, require little maintenance once activated, and won’t interfere in your child’s enjoyment of their console.
  • Exercise precautions. Remember that, when connected to PlayStation Network, your child is using the internet. Whatever precautions you use with computers, smartphones, tablets or any other connected device should also apply to your PS4.
  • Use the PS4 safety tools. Familiarise yourself with your console’s safety features – like how to block players or file reports – and teach your children how to use them.
  • Stick to age ratings. Always pay attention to the age ratings of games and services on PS4. As with movie ratings, they are there for a good reason and provide knowledgeable guidance on what a game will contain and who it’s suitable for.

For players:

  • Be nice! Always be polite and friendly to anyone you chat to, or send messages to online. We want PSN to be a fun, inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.
  • Keep your details private. Never share your personal details with anyone you’ve met online, particularly your address, phone number or what school you go to or where you work. If you don’t want your real name to form any part of your PSN ID, that’s fine – you can create any online alias you choose, and select which trusted PSN friends you reveal your real name to in your privacy settings.
  • Be careful what you share. Don’t send photos or share video of yourself or where you live with anyone you don’t know or don’t trust. And if you do share pictures, make sure they’re appropriate for everyone to see, like real-world friends, parents or colleagues.
  • Use the block function. Block any other players who makes you feel uncomfortable or don’t behave in a polite or friendly way – that way, you won’t see their messages or activities and they won’t be able to join your Party.
  • Update your Privacy Settings. Head to your PS4 profile screen, and select the dotted button next to the ‘Set Online Status’ button to find the option to change your privacy settings. From there, you can choose who can contact you via PSN, which of your activities other players can see, and control how your personal information is displayed – including whether you choose to reveal your real name to individual PSN close friends.
  • Talk to someone. If you feel threatened, victimised, bullied or if anything you do or see online is having a negative effect on you, it’s important to talk to a real person about it. That could mean a parent, teacher or any trusted family member or friend, or an official organisation which will often offer anonymous help or advice. 
 
 

FAQs

Some of the common questions you may have about staying safe on PlayStation are covered below. If you don’t see your issue covered here, check our dedicated Help & Support hub.

Will a real person deal with my issue if I file a report?

Yes. Our moderators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to review your reports. However, to take appropriate action on a report, they need as much evidence as possible on the issue being reported, so please make use of the text entry box on the report.

Can anyone send messages to me or my child if my PS4 is online?

If you have no restrictions set up on an account then yes, anyone with a PSN ID can send you a message. However, you can adjust your privacy settings from your profile screen to control the messages you receive. In the case of family accounts, for each child family member you can configure parental controls to restrict how those accounts interact online, including removing the ability to send and receive messages.

Setting up family accounts on PS4

Can I restrict how long my child uses their PS4 each day?

Yes – as the family manager or as an appointed guardian, you can control when, and for how long, each family member account can play each day, or on a weekly basis. This can be controlled either from your PS4 console, or via the dedicated PlayStation Network web portal when you set up family accounts.

How can I stop my children from watching inappropriate content on YouTube or other video services?

When you set up child family member accounts, you can individually tailor what they can and can’t access – including video streaming services like YouTube.

Can I restrict how my children use the PS4 web browser?

Yes – you’re able to control whether or not each child family member can use the PS4 web browser. If you’d like your children to be able to access the PS4 web browser, but with added filters for specific content, you can subscribe to an additional service called Trend Micro Web Security, via PlayStation Store.

More on the web filter

If I report a user will they get automatically banned?

No. We will review the complaint made against the user and decide on an appropriate course of action, which may include account suspension or a ban. We’ll inform you of any action taken via the ‘From PlayStation’ notifications function.

If I repeatedly report a user, will they definitely be banned?

No. Our moderators will review every report made and act accordingly, but if they don’t find any supporting evidence for the complaint, or find that it didn’t violate our code of conduct, a ban may not be appropriate.

Additionally, spamming the report function makes it more difficult for moderators to act on genuine reports and could result in action being taken against the reporter.

Can I keep track of family management settings from my computer or mobile device?

Yes – you can sign in to your SEN account from any computer or smartphone and use the family account web interface to adjust all of the settings for each child family member account. 

Sign in to your PlayStation Network account

What if I see a payment to PlayStation Store that I don’t recognise?

If you don’t recognise a payment to PlayStation Store – or in the unlikely event that you’ve been changed twice – there are a number of steps you can take, including contacting us.

It’s worth remembering though that a payment for games, music, movies or anything else from PlayStation Store will appear on your statement as Sony Entertainment Network (or an abbreviation, if space is limited).

Find out more about unrecognised payments